Heathen Beast - Ayodhya Burns (EP)
Black Metal
3 songs (15 minutes)
Release year: 2010
Reviewed by Jake

Brand-new band Heathen Beast is three guys from India who got fed up with Eastern religious notions of destiny and karma and reacted by recording a kickass black metal EP. The group's three-song debut Ayodhya Burns, which they've made available for free download at http://www.reverbnation.com/#!/heathenbeast, has definite notes of death metal compositionally - Behemoth and perhaps Morbid Angel will spring to mind - but is kept firmly in the black metal arena by a strong grasp of atmosphere and by guitarist/vocalist Carvaka's constant, angry high-pitched rasp. Though the vocals sound as though they may be aided slightly by effects, it's impossible to grudge him that; the overall impact is brutal and emotional, and though the lyrics aren't especially interesting (they're mostly statements of the main anti-religious themes that have long been present in metal, though filtered through Indian history and mythology) the delivery lends them that attitude of dignified rage that makes the best black metal so moving.

Opener Blind Faith begins with a death-metal lead melody against subtly shifting rhythms provided by bassist Samkhya and drummer Mimamsa before settling into a satisfying steady beat that persists until you're lead into the equally solid (and more riff-driven) second track Religious Genocide. Closing title track Ayodhya Burns is a finely crafted song and the EP's highlight. It opens with a slow bass groove which is then adopted by the guitar. The song sticks with variations on that one groove through just enough repetitions to become hypnotic, before punching you in the face with a sudden gear-shift into thrash madness that's unexpected without being jarring or losing the atmosphere.

Hopefully I've managed to convince you to give the EP a shot, but if I haven't, remember that Heathen Beast is a new, independent band, which is always worth supporting – especially internationally. Between that and the fact that the songs are free, there's no reason you shouldn't head over to reverbnation right now and try 'em out.

Killing Songs :
If you like one of these you'll probably like all three, but the best is Ayodhya Burns.
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Other albums by Heathen Beast that we have reviewed:
Heathen Beast - The Carnage of Godhra (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
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